A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Title: A Fine Balance
Author: Rohinton Mistry
Publisher: Random House
Catagory: Fiction
Pages: 603
Rating: 4

You know those books that you are forced to read at school and when you get them you'd rather be reading something you want than reading something from school, but then the book turns out to be absolutly amazing and you can't put it down not even when you go on vacation.  Well, those were one of those books. 

These four unlikly characters take up residence in a poor, old flat.  Dina, a newly-widow, tries to get through the poor economy by hiring two tailors and taking up a paying guest in her deceased husband's flat.  The two tailors, Om and Ishvar, were looking for such jobs after a tragedy befell their family.  Maneck was searching for a new home after his experience at a "rebellious" hostel.  Each came to live at the flat.  Trying to live through the ridiculous Emergency the government has set up, each finds comfort in the other characters living with them.  This is certainly a story that will leave you breathless: an inspirational read.

The characters are unforgettable.  With such a depressing and inspiring storyline, the characters are what kept me going.  The character development was fantastic.  I feel, after reading the book, that I know more about those characters than I will ever know about even myself.  Rohinton Mistry created a world where he wanted government to act almost like a circus and without the characters he created, the world would seem a little dull.

A bit of a warning, though:  the book is very grim.  When I said depressing, I meant depressing.  There is some humor in it, but the overall storyline will leave you in tears.  I finished the book and I was crying so badly my friends thought there was something wrong with me.  The reader will get to know the characters so well that they will begin to feel their pain and grief.  There is no putting down this book.  This book will change your opinion of the world.  If you haven't read this novel, you are truly missing out on a lovely read. 

You'll Like This Book if You Like
Rohinton Mistry
Inspirational Fiction


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  1. This book has been sitting on my shelf for almost a year now - I got it in a sale and somehow just never got around to reading it.

    Thanks for inspiring me to get around to it!